NICEVILLE, Fla.— A valiant push came up just short Friday as Pearl River 's Lady Wildcats fell to Gadsden State 69-66.
No. 1 Northwest Florida State is hosting the two-day tournament; PRCC plays ASA College (Miami) at 2:30 p.m. CT Saturday.
Almost from start to finish Friday's game was back and forth. Gadsden State held a narrow 21-19 advantage after the first quarter but PRCC rallied to take a 38-38 tie into halftime. Gadsden State pulled ahead 52-46 after the third quarter and stretched its lead to 11 points but the Lady Wildcats battled back to get within striking distance in the final minutes.
"Tonight's outcome was a reflection of our youth and inability to be consistent with our defensive approach. We missed 13 free throws, which is way too many in a close game. We have to create more opportunities with our press and be better defensively when we have our shooting woes like we did tonight," PRCC coach Scotty Fletcher said. "We will learn from this unfortunate outcome. Our continued focus will be getting better defensively and becoming more discipline as a whole. I have great confidence in our players and staff to get this team to understand how valuable each possession is day in and day out."
Gabby Brown (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.; Choctaw) had a big-time performance in her home state. The sophomore guard scored a season-high 20 points on 7 of 14 shooting from the floor — including five 3-pointers. She also pulled in seven rebounds, including five on the offensive class.
Elexis Peyton (Jackson; Provine) had a bounce-back performance for the Lady Wildcats (5-2) with her second double-double of the season. The redshirt sophomore was second on the team with 10 points and pulled in 10 rebounds.
Olivia Mosley (Pearl), Mychala "Pooh" Linzy (Clinton) and Alanna Smith (Picayune) all had two assists. Shania Wright (Clinton) tied for the team lead with 10 rebounds. Dywana Parker (Gulfport) was third for the Lady Wildcats with nine.